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Essay Writing Tips

A few times, at least, in your life you will most likely find yourself with the task of writing an essay - as aEssay Writing high school students who has to write English composition assignment, a college student who has to write an essay on a given topic, an officer who has to compose a report or a web author who has to provide information for his website. The tips provided here will help you to be prepared.

An essay is a piece of writing that discusses, describes or analyzes one topic. It may be short or long. The type of essay Secondary or High School students are asked to write is short essay.

Last Updated - 1st December 2005


The type college students often have to write as assignment or in partial fulfillment of their program is usually a long essay.

Types Of Essay

There are many types of essays, namely:

Space will not permit the discussion of all these types of essay in details in this article. Only the most common four will be.

Argumentative Essay - An argumentative essay is one in which the writer expresses his opinion about certain points on which there are, or could be, differing views. It attempts to persuade the reader to the writer's point of view. The following is part of an argumentative writing in support of capital punishment:

It is quite popular these days to accuse those of being barbarians (or relics of savagery) who take the position that there are times when it is justifiable to demand that someone forfeit his life for crimes done..... The purpose of God in punishment is not primarily reformation or prevention. To hear some people talk you would think it is, because they emphasize that punishment is not deterrent-therefore we should throw it out. That's entirely beside the point. If someone steals all the hub caps on my car, he ought to be punished for it; but not in order that nobody will steal your hub caps. He should be punished because he took mine! Any deterrent aspect is purely secondary, purely a bi-product - an extra thrown in. Some people say there is inequity in application; if you're rich and can get the best lawyers, you can get off! Again, that may be true; but it is still beside the point. If it is true, then that situation should be rectified and every necessary step should be taken so that a man -rich or poor, learned or ignorant- gets a fair trial. But even this has nothing to do with the basic question. Sometimes the innocent have been executed, you say. Again, it is still beside the point. Care should be taken so that if there is not reasonable and full assurance that the man is guilty, by no means should the punishment be administered. It should be beyond all doubt. We do not advocate careless or promiscuous use of the death penalty. Some may ask, “What about a man’s opportunity to repent?” By all means let us give a man ample time to set his house in order and get right with his God. But if a man won’t repent with the prospects of eternity staring him in the face, he’s not going to repent with 50 years ahead of him in prison. Bruce W. Dunn, ‘What About Capital Punishment’ by, Grace Worship Hour, Illinois 61614

Please notice that in an argumentative essay you do not have to completely prove your point. What you only have to do is satisfy reasonable readers that your argument or position has merit; that your points are more cogent than your opponent’s, that your own argument is somehow more accurate and complete than competing arguments.

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Descriptive Essay - In a descriptive essay, the writer describes something – an object, a scene, a process, a person’s appearance or character, a state of mind or feeling, what something is or how something happens. Here are two examples:

The red-room was a spare chamber, very seldom slept in: I might say never, indeed, unless when a chance influx of visitors at Gateshead Hall rendered it necessary to turn to account all the accommodation it contained: yet it was one of the largest and stateliest chambers in the mansion. A bed supported on massive pillars of mahogany, hung with curtains of deep red damask, stood out like a tabernacle in the center, the two large windows, with their blinds always drawn down, were half shrouded in festoons and falls of similar drapery; the carpet was red; the table at the foot of the bed was covered with a crimson cloth; the walls were a soft fawn colour, with a blush of pink in it; the wardrobe, the toilet-table, the chairs, were of darkly-polished old mahogany. Out of these deep surrounding shades rose high, and glared white, the piled-up mattresses and pillows of the bed, spread with a snowy Marseilles counterpane. Scarcely less prominent was an ample cushioned easy-chair near the head of the bed, also white, with a footstool before it, and looking, as I thought, like a pale throne.

Jane Eyre, ‘Charlotte Bronte’, Page 7. The General strides in, pins two medals for outstanding gallantry to the chest of one of the colonel’s combat doctors. Then he strides off again to his helicopter, and spreads out a polythene-covered map to explain our afternoon’s trip. The General has a big, real American face, reminiscent of every movie general you have seen. He comes from Texas, and is 48…… Nicholas Tomalin, ‘The General Goes Zapping Charlie Cong’, The Times, June 5, 1966.

Discussion Essay - Discussion Essay presents facts in detail for examination or consideration. This is a common type of essay, since we all hold discussions virtually every time. Consequently, discussion essay covers a wide range of topics. The following is a discussion of the Europe’s high-tech struggle, a good example of discussion essay:

The signs of trouble are everywhere. In Britain, 9 out of 10 shoppers looking for videotape recorders buy Japanese. In France, 8 out of 10 personal computers sold have American labels, and companies bought most of their semiconductors from firms based overseas. In less than a decade, the United States and Japan have come to dominate the multibillion-dollar high-technology field, often leaving European know-how years behind. The widening gap threatens an estimated 2 million jobs in Western Europe - and by the end of the century, it could cost European industry the ability to compete in world markets. The Europeans are acutely aware of the problem. “Our hopes for the future are centered on technology,” says Jean-Pierre Chevenement, France’s minister of research and industry. Governments and private industry are backing those hopes with billions of dollars on research and development in an effort to catch up with the Americans and the Japanese. But it’s an uphill fight, and the Europeans will have to do far more than they are now if they hope to regain their competitive edge. Fortunately, they are still in the race. Even now they are giving their overseas rivals a run for their money in several key high-tech fields. Europe’s Airbus, for example, competes with American’s Boeing Co. in the commercial-airline market. Italian robots developed at Fiat are used by automakers around the world, including America’s Chrysler. The French-pioneered Ariane rocket may eventually take lucrative satellite-launching business away from the U.S. space shuttle. Britain’s Harrier jet and West Germany’s Leopard tank are state-of-the-art leaders. But all that represents only a small segment of the huge high-tech markets. ‘Europe’s High-Tech Struggle’ Newsweek, March 28, 1983

Narrative Essay - The narrative essay tells a story. Generally the narrative essay is conversational in style, and tells of a personal experience. Narrative essays are told from a defined point of view, often the writer’s and rely on personal experience. The narrative essay makes a point and that point is often defined in the opening sentence, but can also be found as the last sentence in the opening paragraph. The following is the first three paragraphs of an essay under the title, ‘The “Scramble” For Africa’:

We have, most of us, heard about the infamous Congress of Berlin at which, in 1884, under the presidency of the German Chancellor Prince von Bismarck, the European imperialist powers proceeded to divide Africa between them. It was called ‘the scramble for Africa’, today it would have been called simply “ the carve up” of the continent. Germany held the scales principally between Britain and France. It was in Bismarck’s interest to arouse jealousy and covetousness between these two powers to prevent them from getting together to turn against the Germans in Europe. But other powers were interested – Portugal and Italy and Spain, as well as Belgium, more rapacious than ever since the ruthless exploitation of the Congo by its avaricious and cruel ruler King Leopold. The Congress was probably the nadir of power politics and was characterised by the utmost cynicism and callousness as the lives and homelands of millions of Africans were bartered like so many cattle – a vast game of check – counter-check and bargaining in human misery. Richard McMillan, ‘Make Yourself A Master of History’, School of Journalism and TV, England, Page 26

Writing The Essay

Get a topic. If the essay is an assignment, you don’t need to bother about getting a topic, since you have been given one. If you don’t already have a topic, then you need to get one. You can’t write until you know clearly what you are to write about.

Disclaimer: The Essay Writing Tips / Information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Tips And Treats . com and/or its partners.

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